Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs – 10th August 2023



Today Topics List:

  1. Keralam

  2. Bills Passed in parliament

  3. India – Sri Lanka: Constitution Amendment 13 A

  4. Australia to be testing ground for US Missiles

  5. Fertilizer Production

  6. Deforestation – Amazon Nations





  • The Kerala Assembly passed a unanimous resolution urging the centre to rename the state as “Keralam” in the Constitution and all office records.

Points in Resolution:

  • Name of the state in Malayalam is Keralam.
  • The demand for a united Kerala for all Malayalam speaking communities has been raised right from the days of Freedom struggle.
  • States were formed on the basis of language on 1st November, 1956 also the Kerala formation Day.
  • However, the name was written as Kerala in the First Schedule of the constitution.
  • It requested Union Government to take steps under Article 3 of the Constitution to change the name of Kerala into Keralam.


  • The earliest epigraphic record that mentions Kerala is Ashoka’s Rock Edict II of 257 BC.
    • It refers to the rulers of Kerala as Keralaputra ( Son of Kerala ) and also “Son of Chera
  • The word Keram is the Canarese (Kannada) form of Cheram – the region between Gokarnam and Kanyakumari.
    • The origin of the term could possibly be the root ‘Cher’, which means to join.
    • This meaning is clear in the compound word ‘Cheralam’, in which Alam means region or land.

Demand for statehood:

  • People speaking Malayalam had historically been ruled by various Kings and princely states.
  • In 1920s that the Aikya Kerala Movement gathered momentum and the demand for a separate state for Malayalam speaking people came up.
    • It aimed at integration of Malabar, Kochi and Travancore into one.

Post 1947:

  • The merger and integration of Princely States was a major step towards the formation of the state of Kerala after Independence.
    • On July 1, 1949 , the two states of Travancore and Kochi were integrated, heralding the birth of Travan core – Cochin state.
    • State reorganization commission recommended formation of Kerala on the basis of Language.
    • It includes the district of Malabar and the taluk of Kasargod in the Malayalam – speaking people’s state, and excluded four taluks from Southern Travancore, which were now part of tamilnadu.
  • The State of Kerala came into existence on November 1, 1956. While the name in English was Kerala, in Malayalam, the state was referred to as Keralam.




Bills Passed in parliament

    • The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed,
      • The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill
      • The Anusandan National Research Foundation Bill,
      • The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill,
      • The Coastal Aquaculture Authority Bill (Amendment) Bill
    • The First Bill, The Constitution (ScheduledCastes) Order (Amendment) Bill, was to add two synonyms for the Mahar Community in Chhattisgarh to the State’s list of Scheduled Castes.
      • It adds “Mahara” and “Mahra” as synonyms of the Mahar Community.
      • It will help expand the benefits of the government schemes and benefits meant for the Scheduled castes in the state to around two lakhs more people.
    • The Coastal Aquaculture Authority Bill (Amendment) Bill, provides for broad basing coastal aquaculture to comprehensively cover all activities of coastal aquaculture under the purview of the law and remove the ambiguity existing in the principal act between farm and other verticals of coastal aquaculture.
      • This is likely to ensure that no coastal aquaculture activity is left out of the act and operate in an environmentally hazardous manner.
    • The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, sets out norms for data processing digitally for firms.
      • It creates an adjudicatory mechanism for resolving disputes,
      • provides for the creation of a Data Protection Board of India.


  • “The Bill instead of protecting the right to privacy of Citizens , prioritises putting into place a regime that facilitates the processing of personal data by state and private actors” is a cause for disappointment says the Internet Freedom Foundation.




India – Sri Lanka: Constitution Amendment 13 A


  • Sri Lankan President Rani Wickremesinghe reiterated his offer to Tamils, of implementing the 13th Amendment without police powers. He proposes a step-by-step approach to devolving powers to provinces.

13th Amendment:

  • Since Sri Lanka gained independence from the British in 1948, the Tamils have demanded political autonomy in the northern and eastern regions. It must be noted that all powers in Sri Lanka are concentrated in the centre.
  • In a bid to resolve the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka between Tamils and the Sinhalese, the 13th amendment was passed in 1987 as part of the Indo-Lanka Accord, which was signed by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President JR Jayawardene.
  • he 13th amendment provides for a provincial council system and devolution of powers over land, the police, education, health, agriculture, housing and finances to the nine provinces of the country, including Sinhala majority areas.
  • The amendment also provided for making Tamil an official language, and English as a link language.
  • Initially, the north and eastern provinces were merged and a North-Eastern Provincial Council was created. However, they were de-merged in 2007 following a Supreme Court verdict.
  • However, its provisions were never fully implemented by successive Sri Lankan governments in 36 years.



  • Under the Amendment 13th, police powers have emerged as the most delicate issue in the transfer of authority to the provincial councils.
  • Sri Lanka’s provincial councils have been defuncted for five years now, owing to delayed polls as they require certain laws to be amended as per the present Government.
  • This has confused the Tamil Ethnic groups whether Sinhala leadership is ready to resolve the Tamil issue, while offering compromised implementation of the 13th Amendment, which is a long-time issue in India – Sri Lanka Relations.




  • Australia to be testing ground for US Missiles
    • Under the AUKUS pact, Australia could be a testing ground for U.S. Hypersonic and other long range precision weapons.
    • AUKUS, which includes Australia, United Kingdom and United States was a pact signed in 2021 and was seen as a way of countering China’s growing clout in the Asia- Pacific region.
      • Work under AUKUS has so far focused on supplying Australia with nuclear powered submarines.
      • They are afleet capable of travelling stealthily over vast distances and striking foes at a long range.
    • Now, the Pact is increasingly focusing on developing advanced capabilities such as long-range precision firing, AI and Hypersonic weapons.




Fertilizer Production


  • The Standing Committee of Parliament on Chemicals and Fertilizers has placed two reports in which it posed questions on the availability of the fertilizers and a subsidy policy.
    • The reports also called for ending the import dependence on fertilizers such as urea, diammonium phosphate (DAP), Muriate of Potash (MOP), and Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium (NPK).
    • The production of these fertilizers up to November 2022 was 281.83 lakh tonnes but the consumption was 401.46 lt.
    • Thus, there was a deficit of 119.63 lt for all types of fertilizers in the country.
  • The panel asked the department of Fertilizers to ascertain the reasons for the shortage of fertilizers being reported in some of the states.
  • The Panel sought the review of a nutrient based subsidy (NBS) that covers fertilizers such as P & K fertilizers.
    • Urea is left out of the scheme and hence it remains under price control, whereas technically there is no price control in other fertilisers.
  • It also recommended to review the present NBS policy to remove the disincentives for farmers to use other fertilizers.
  • The Committee noted that GST for fertilizers is at 5% and GST on raw materials such as sulphuric acid and ammonia are at 18%.
    • The committee failed to understand this anomaly.




Deforestation – Amazon Nations


  • At A Summit in Brazil, An Alliance to fight Deforestation in Amazon was started by Eight South American Countries to stop the world’s biggest rainforest from reaching “a point of no return”.

Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) adopted a “new and ambitious shared agenda” to save the rainforest.

  • The rain forest is a crucial buffer against climate Change.
  • Experts warn that it is being pushed to the blink of collapse.

The membership of ACTO consists of

  • Bolivia,
  • Brazil
  • Columbia
  • Ecuador
  • Guyana
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela


  • It is the first summit in 14 years for the eight-nation group, set up in 1995 by the South American Countries that Share Amazon basin.
  • All the members signed a Joint Declaration in Belem, at the mouth of Amazon River, Laying our a roadmap to promote sustainable development, end deforestation and fight the organised crime that fuels it.
    • But the summit stopped short of environmentalists and Indigenous groups boldest demands, including for all member countries to adopt Brazil’s pledge to end illegal deforestation by 2030 and Columbia’s pledge to halt new oil exploration.
    • Columbian President called for a massive scheme to cancel developing countries debt in exchange for action to protect the climate, linking the post world war – II “Marshall Plan”.
    • Seeking to pressure the gathered heads of the state, hundreds of environmentalists, activists and Indigenous demonstrators marched to the conference venue in Belem, urging bold action.

“The severe worsening of the climate crisis required action in unison”

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